Does Google Home Work Without the Internet?
Google Home requires an active internet connection in order to work. This means you need to connect Google Home to Wi-Fi before you can use it to play music, connect to wireless devices, query calendar events, give directions, make calls, check the weather, etc.
Google Home is intended to work with an active, secure internet connection. So we can’t guarantee it’ll work properly as a standalone Bluetooth speaker without an internet connection. You may want to do some experimenting to see if it’ll work for you.
Trying to use the Echo or Google Home without home wifi is really hobbling it and pretty much negates the benefits you ought to be getting from it.
What Is the Internet For?
The internet that Google Home need to use should be from a router. This is because it is the only way Google Home can connect to the internet. The connection point is the first thing you should look for at first. This is easy: just move your Google Home closer to your router if you have any, and see if the symptoms will improve.
If you find your Google Home working better when it’s closer to your router, then there’s a problem. This could be with either the router or interference between the router and where you normally put your Google Home normally.
A permanent solution is to either move the Google Home closer to the router or move the router somewhere more central where it can reach a broader area, preferably away from walls and other electronics.
How Routers Work with Google Home
Routers are for connecting a modem like a fiber cable or a DSL modem to other devices so that they allow communication between those devices and the internet.
There are many things that you should put into consideration when you want to have a router; such as how fast it should be to support your internet speed and devices. You should also consider its power to ensure that all your devices can receive internet access.
Have a look at these lists if you’re having trouble deciding on a new router:
- Best Long-Range Routers
- Best Secure Routers
- Best Routers for Under $50
- Best Routers for Under $100
- Best DD-WRT Routers
- Best Gaming Routers
- Best Parental Control Routers
Home is also supposed to be able to control Chromecasts as well, meaning if you have one of Google’s streaming devices plugged into a TV and on the same wifi network, you should be able to ask Home to play a YouTube clip on your TV. I had a first-generation Chromecast set up on the same network as the Home, and the app told me that the Chromecast wasn’t supported by Home for this function, but then a few hours later I tried anyway, and it worked perfectly.
Does the Home/mini require Internet access?
Yes, it needs internet access. You can’t set it up without it, and if it loses connection, it gives an error, such as “Hang on while I trie to connect.”
I am pretty sure you can do this with the Chromecast Audio using an app on your phone that is capable of casting local media. You may need to have an internet connection to do the initial setup, but you could do that at home and just move everything to your studio.
You would want a router with WiFi, setup your CCA devices to connect to the router, set your phone to the same network (remember you will most likely lose all internet access on your phone as it will be looking to the WiFi network).
Local Cast, Bubble UPnP both cast local audio.
Obviously, in this setup you will need to control the music from the phone, so you won’t have voice control. Each CCA will also need a speaker attached.
Do keep in mind that the home mini has a very mediocre sound quality. Great for the assistant but not ideal as a speaker for music.
Google home needs internet access for audio processing. Without it, it can’t even understand you beyond the “Hey Google” command.
I have written a complete hands-on step by step solution of the problems I encountered while connecting my Google Home to Ecobee thermostat where I have outlined the durability and connectivity issues I ran into in this article over here.
Google Home as Bluetooth speaker without WiFi?
I see now that the Google home can be used as a Bluetooth speaker – can this be done without connecting to WiFi?
No… it’s because just like the Chromecast it is designed to be used with an internet connection. It’s basically useless without an internet connection. The Assistant cannot answer any questions; a Chromecast cannot stream any remote videos.
Additionally – configuration is done over the network when it’s connected to your network, but if the WiFi fails or the device fails to get an IP address or something – it has no choice but to start up its built-in hotspot – otherwise there would be no way to connect to it for configuration.
GPS is needed because – the device needs to know where it is for a) the weather forecast, b) guest mode and c) to make sure only the WiFi channels that are allowed to be used in the country it is used in are enabled. There is no difference in firmware between countries – all devices of each family run the same firmware across the globe.
Because they’re Google, they do weird shit like this that makes no damn sense, but can get away with it, because they’re Google.
Like needing wifi, to connect to a Bluetooth speaker.
Or I am needing GPS to connect to a Chromecast on your own wifi.
Or being able to cast the audio from music videos, but you cannot cast the audio from other videos like lectures.
Or making fun of Apple for doing something, and then turn around and do it themselves.
You will need wifi to set it up to the Bluetooth speaker, because of Google. I didn’t have wifi at home for a while, so I used my phone’s hotspot temporarily. Once they’re set up, it won’t need wifi to use the Home as a Bluetooth speaker.
As a side note, I wrote an article about how you can learn how to create a smart room with Google Home here that will give you some compatibility issues I also ran into.
Use Home as a Bluetooth speaker.
I’m sure few people do this, but if you want more control over your Home with your phone, you can simply use the device as a Bluetooth speaker. You can make Home Bluetooth discoverable by simply asking it, and then connect with your preferred device. From there you can play whichever podcast you want without the rigmarole of endlessly skipping backwards to find the right episode.
Home Automation without internet access
Look into Snips.ai + Home Assistant
Voice control goes further than just automated speech recognition. You also need a natural language processing engine that breaks the speech down into intents. This is what snips.ai does.
Home Assistant actually has some very rudimentary voice control built in; I think you can use it on your phone by tapping a button on the UI or something. Never tried it though.
Can operate without a connection to the outside world, but neither of these is off-the-shelf solutions and will require a significant amount of time invested in getting what you want. Snips will take care of your voice control, and Home Assistant will be the server that ties whatever devices you have together into a unified platform.
There are no easy/cheap products yet, and I really don’t buy the whole (oh it’s not possible for voice) since voice control was around even before the internet was a useful service to help make it better.
You will likely want to look at getting a copy of Dragon Naturally Speaking and using that to trigger your scripts. For now, you will need a full PC to do this, though I suspect its only a matter of time before offline voice processing is more accessible.
Home Lights Automation without “internet?”
Traditional lighting automation systems never needed the internet, and even today the internet connection part is a bonus. Radio Ra2 system would work just fine – you can control everything with keypads. If you want, while you’re at home and you’d even get to use the App since it can just run locally without the need to phone home.
There’s no rule that says you have to plug your network into the Internet. You can do whole home audio (Logitech Media Server does not need a connection), home automation (Home Assistant, once set up, can run fine locally), Wemo smart plugs can be set up to block mobile control, Zwave and Zigbee protocols have no real need for anything beyond the router. I can only assume there’s a lot of other solutions that also run fine in a local sandbox…
Definitely check out my guide on the cheap smart lights that work with Google Home here for more information also.
All that being said, you really need an Internet connection to figure out how to set up all these wonderful things, download required programs, firmware updates, get tech & troubleshooting support and ask questions on this fine subreddit for example.